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  • Tuesday, July 06, 2021 4:23 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    We're excited to announce our first round of Art Acquisition Fund (AAF) and Collections Management Fund (CMF) grantees! For this round, we are awarding $196,527.10 to fourteen organizations across Alaska.

    As always, we want to thank Rasmuson Foundation for their generous support for these two grant programs. We also want to thank our amazing panelists who spent a lot of their personal time to carefully consider the applications.

    As a reminder, our AAF grant is now switching to a rolling deadline and is open again, so organizations can purchase art when it becomes available. The CMF grant will reopen on September 6 and close on October 11. That’s not too far away, so get your projects ready!

    Collections Management Fund - Round 1 Grants 

    • $7,407 - The Alaska Jewish Museum will upgrade its website so they have a stable online environment for virtual programming and exhibits.

    • $15,000 - The Alaska State Museum will contract with an expert consultant on their aviation collection in order to make curatorial and collections care decisions about the objects.

    • $14,970.10 - The Alutiiq Heritage Foundation will complete a collections management project for their Nunakakhnak collection that includes translating a Fortran catalog, correcting misidentifications, and updating the storage of the collection.

    • $5,105 - The Cordova Historical Society and Museum will digitize 58 rolls of The Cordova Daily Alaskan and The Cordova Times microfilm, which will provide opportunities for research that have not been accessible in the past.

    • $13,412 - The Juneau-Douglas City Museum will clean and prepare the Wooshkeetaan Kootéeyaa before it is raised in the State Office Building.

    • $15,000 - Ketchikan Museums will digitize unstable analog media in their collection including: (295) cassette tapes, (10) vinyl records and (4) Betacam tapes.

    • $13,395 - The Museum of the Aleutians will complete an eight-month collections care upgrade that will implement proper preventative cleaning measures throughout the museum, as well as upgrading storage mounts for objects currently in poor housing.

    • $8,870 - Preservation Alaska (AKA the Alaskan Association for Historic Preservation, Inc.) will transfer their Oscar Anderson House Museum collections catalog from excel into Past Perfect. In the process, each item will photographed and its condition reported on.

    • $14,418 - Talkeetna Historical Society will identify and label found-in-collections items, settle old loans, properly house objects, and rehouse the Robb collection, which is currently in a separate location.

    Art Acquisition Fund - Round 1 Grants

    • $35,000 - The Alutiiq Museum and Archeological Repository will be acquiring a giant, bronze Alutiiq mask created by renowned Alutiiq artist, Perry Eaton. The mask will be installed in the entryway of the museum where every visitor can see it. The Messenger is a mix of traditional and modern design and will help the museum depict Eaton’s evolution as an artist.

    • $6,800 - The Carrie M. McLain Memorial Museum will be acquiring one hundred tiny artworks from the series Hair Portraits, by contemporary Inupiaq/Athabascan artist, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, and a piece by Norwegian/Inupiaq artist Ryder Erickson, In Vain He Chases Ravens. These acquisitions will further their mission to collect, interpret, and preserve collections of historical, cultural, and artistic value that illustrate the vibrant communities of Nome and the Bering Strait.

    • $11,300 - The Anchorage Museum will acquire a set of photographs by African American artist, Jovell Rennie, to help fill substantial gaps in the Museum’s holdings and incorporate more immigrant perspectives into their archives and collections. They will also commission a painting by Linda Infante Lyons that will allow the museum to investigate of themes and ideas surrounding women’s rights, decolonization, and Indigenous sovereignty.

    • $13,000 - The Ilanka Cultural Center will acquire two paintings by David Pettibone, Open for Business and Study for Harvest, that will allow the center to interpret different stories around the importance of fishing in Cordova, the devastating impact of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill, and the delicate ecosystems that the local communities and villages rely on for survival.

    • $850 - The Clausen Memorial Museum will acquire Le Conte Ice Fall, a photograph by David Beebe featuring gulls feeding during a glacier calving event. The scene is a familiar one in Petersburg, and will give the museum opportunities to talk about the importance of glacier ice to the local climate, as well as to the development and growth of the community.

    • $22,000 - Sealaska Heritage Institute will acquire a modern sea otter jacket and hat set from Tlingit artist, Robert Miller. By actively collecting modern pieces, the institute is documenting the growth and change of Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian cultures. Skin sewing is an ancient tradition, but these pieces will be dyed blue, and the jacket will be crafted using a sewing style of “letting the fur out”—both modern takes on the traditional art form.

    We want to congratulate everyone on their successful grant applications! We can’t wait to see the progress on your projects.

  • Monday, April 19, 2021 5:16 PM | Executive Director (Administrator)

    Dear Friends and Colleagues,

    Museums Alaska is excited to announce that it will be holding its 2021 Annual Meeting from September 13-14 & 20-21 as a virtual conference via Zoom (#MA2021). The theme of this year’s conference is Sustainability: Adaptation and Resilience of Alaska Museums. The conference team is hard at work planning an exciting program of hands-on workshops and panel discussions.

    Museums Alaska’s annual awards will be announced during #MA2021. Please consider nominating one of your esteemed colleagues for the 2021: Award for Excellence in the Museum Field, Volunteer of the Year Award, President's Award in Honor of Lifetime Achievement, or Museums Champion. Please use this online awards form to submit your nomination by August 1, 2021. 

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    Museums Alaska Program Committee 

  • Thursday, April 15, 2021 12:43 PM | Selena Ortega-Chiolero (Administrator)

    Recently, Museums Alaska has been having conversations with our brothers and sisters at the Hawai'i Museums Association in regards to the issues we face concerning cultural heritage management, limited resources and teh affects of COVID-19 on our industry.  In an effort to address some of these issues, HMA is hosting an online conference this weekend, April 16-17, 2021, revolving around the theme of ACCESS.  To learn more, visit our new Professional Development page.

  • Tuesday, April 06, 2021 12:01 PM | Selena Ortega-Chiolero (Administrator)

    Museums Alaska has hired Dixie Clough as its Director. Clough will serve as the lead  administrator for the statewide organization that works to strengthen museums and cultural  centers throughout Alaska. She will manage Museums Alaska’s substantial grant program,  oversee the organization’s programming and communications, and support advocacy efforts.  Clough was selected from a national pool of applicants.  

    “We are thrilled to have Dixie join our organization as Director of Museums Alaska. We held an  intensive national search. Dixie brings extensive experience in museums that will no doubt  position us for exponential growth. As a board, our job is to set her up for success as a leader in  Alaska,” said Board President Monica Garcia-Itchoak. 

    Clough holds an MA in Museum Studies from George Washington University and has more than  ten years of experience in both arts administration and museum practice. Her resume includes  previous appointments with the American Alliance of Museums, the MuseWeb Foundation, and  the Smithsonian Institution. She is currently the Director of Communications and Development  for the Bay Arts Alliance in Panama City, Florida an organization that supports, develops, and  promotes the arts as essential community resources. She enjoys traveling, writing, and  blogging. She will begin work for Museums Alaska on Monday, April 12, 2021 from her home in  Florida and then relocate to Alaska. 

    “The goal is to land in Alaska in May, and explore as many museums as I can, getting to know  what exhibitions and programs they offer their communities, and what they need from  Museums Alaska,” said Clough. “I’m looking forward to working with everyone there and can’t  wait to get started!” 

    Museums Alaska supports Alaska’s collecting institutions, their staff, and volunteers through  online networking, advocacy, training, and public education initiatives. The non-profit  organization supports the improvement of museum services and promotes public awareness of  the value of the state’s museums and cultural centers. A nine-member board governs Museums  Alaska with funding from memberships, grants, gifts, and sales.

  • Thursday, March 25, 2021 11:40 AM | Selena Ortega-Chiolero (Administrator)

    House and Senate Appropriations Letters Now Circulating (Senate Deadline Friday 3/26) - Ask Your Legislators to Sign On Today!

    Representatives Paul Tonko (D-NY), David McKinley (R-WV), Chellie Pingree (D-ME) and Andy Barr (R-KY), and Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Susan Collins (R-ME) are now circulating letters in their respective chambers calling for robust FY 2022 funding for the Office of Museum Services (OMS) at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). The deadline for Senators to join this letter is end-of-day Friday, March 26. The deadline for Representatives to sign is Friday, April 16. See the list of current signers below to determine whether your Senators or Representative has signed on. If so, be sure to thank them.

    If not, take a couple of minutes to use our template and ask your Representative and Senators to sign on today. These letters are a key measure of legislators' support for federal funding for museums, and they are especially important now to build on our momentum from Museums Advocacy Day. If you contacted your legislators already but have yet to hear back, please send another round of letters. Securing these signatures sometimes takes several touches, and reaching out again can help make sure your voice is heard.

    Please contact your Representative and Senators today!

    SBA to Begin Accepting Shuttered Venue Operators Grant Applications April 8

    On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) launched a splash page for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant (SVOG) application portal in preparation for opening applications for the much-anticipated critical economic relief program on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

    Prior to the official SVOG application opening, the SBA will host a national informational webinar to highlight the application process for potential eligible entities from 2:30 to 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 30, 2021. Those interested in participating can register here. You can find Frequently Asked Questions about SVOG, a preliminary application checklist, and other information on the SBA's SVOG site.

    Last week the House passed legislation (H.R. 1799), advocated for by the Alliance, extending the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) application deadline to May 31 (from March 31). The Senate is expected to pass the extension this week with President Biden expected to sign it into law shortly thereafter. Nonprofits, including eligible museums, may apply for the PPP prior to applying for an SVO as they await the application. The SBA would then reduce any SVO grant award by the PPP amount received. (See March 12 Alliance Advocacy Alert.)

    Current FY 2022 Senate Office of Museum Services Signers (alphabetical by state):

    Letter sponsors indicated in bold. Use our Legislator Directory to identify your legislators.

    • Diane Feinstein (D-CA)
    • Alex Padilla (D-CA)
    • Chris Murphy (D-CT)
    • Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI)
    • Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
    • Richard J. Durbin (D-IL)
    • Elizabeth Warren (D-MA)
    • Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)
    • Susan M. Collins (R-ME)
    • Angus S. King, Jr. (I-ME)
    • Gary C. Peters (D-MI)
    • Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
    • Tina Smith (D-MN)
    • John Tester (D-MT)
    • Margaret Wood Hassan (D-NH)
    • Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
    • Cory A. Booker (D-NJ)
    • Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
    • Jacky Rosen (D-NV)
    • Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
    • Jeff Merkley (D-OR)
    • Ron Wyden (D-OR)
    • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)
    • Tim Kaine (D-VA)
    • Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

    Current FY 2022 House Office of Museum Services Signers (alphabetical by state):

    Letter sponsors indicated in bold. Use our Legislator Directory to identify your legislators.

    • Don Young (R-AK-01)
    • Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-07)
    • Julia Brownley (D-CA-26)
    • Salud Carbajal (D-CA-24)
    • Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA-11)
    • John Garamendi (D-CA-03)
    • Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)
    • Jackie Speier (D-CA-14)
    • Eric Swalwell (D-CA-15)
    • Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC)
    • Kathy Castor (D-FL-14)
    • Sanford D. Bishop (D-GA-02)
    • Lucy McBath (D-GA-06)
    • Michael F. Q. San Nicolas (D-Guam)
    • Kaiali'i Kahele (D-HI-02)
    • Sean Casten (D-IL-06)
    • Danny K. Davis (D-IL-07)
    • Rodney Davis (R-IL-13)
    • Jan Schakowsky (D-IL-09)
    • Andy Barr (R-KY-06)
    • Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-08)
    • Seth Moulton (D-MA-06)
    • Richard E. Neal (D-MA-01)
    • Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07)
    • Jamie Raskin (D-MD-08)
    • Jared Golden (D-ME-02)
    • Chellie Pingree (D-ME-01)
    • Haley Stevens (D-MI-11)
    • Billy Long (R-MO-07)
    • Deborah Ross (D-NC-02)
    • Chris Pappas (D-NH-01)
    • Donald M. Payne, JR (D-NJ-10)
    • Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ-02)
    • Dina Titus (D-NV-01)
    • Antonio Delgado (D-NY-19)
    • Joseph Morelle (D-NY-25)
    • Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21)
    • Paul Tonko (D-NY-20)
    • Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR-01)
    • Madeleine Dean (D-PA-4)
    • Mary Gay Scanlon (D-PA-05)
    • Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon (R-PR-AL)
    • David N. Cicilline (D-RI-01)
    • Steve Cohen (D-TN-09)
    • Jim Cooper (D-TN-05)
    • Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX-15)
    • Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX-18)
    • Marc Veasey (D-TX-33)
    • Filemon Vela (D-TX-34)
    • Peter Welch (D-VT-01)
    • Suzan K. DelBene (D-WA-01)
    • Pramila Jayapal (D-WA-07)
    • Gwen S. Moore (D-WI-04)
    • David McKinley (R-WV-01)

    Thank you for your continued advocacy for museums. Visit www.aam-us.org/advocacy to access all of AAM's advocacy resources.

  • Monday, March 22, 2021 1:47 PM | Selena Ortega-Chiolero (Administrator)

    Museums Alaska is looking forward to a conference in Fall 2021, but due to the economic impact of the recent COVID-19 shutdowns and concerns for public health, the Museums Alaska Board has decided to pursue a Virtual Conference this Fall. Visit the Museums Alaska Annual Meeting page for more information.

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021 2:04 PM | Selena Ortega-Chiolero (Administrator)

    Over the last six-months, the Western Museums Association (WMA) has been collaboratively working with the other six U.S. regional museum associations to bring to life a nationwide initiative dedicated to providing free, self-paced training resources for small museums – the Museum Learning Hub!

    Registration opens soon for Module 1: Digital Accessibility and Inclusion!

    The inaugural series is funded by a National Leadership Grant for Museums award from the Institute of Museum and Library Services.

  • Tuesday, March 16, 2021 1:54 PM | Selena Ortega-Chiolero (Administrator)

    For over 40 years, the Forum has invested in Alaska artists, writers, historians, filmmakers, and community conveners. This funding fuels creative projects that share and preserve the stories of people across the state and explore what it means to be Alaskan. The Forum’s annual grants support innovative, independent projects that engage, inform, and connect people across Alaska through the humanities.

    In 2021, the Forum is offering two types of funding: annual grants and event sponsorships.  Please read below for details of each.

    Annual Grant Projects - annual review
    Applications open March 15; due April 30, 2021
    Up to $15,000 per grant
    Grant awards will be announced May 15.

    Project Categories include:

    • Publication - book, report, catalogue
    • Digital product - podcast, website, digitization/archiving
    • Film - including outreach and engagement
    • Oral history - including cultural literacy projects
    • Exhibit - virtual or in-person (as allowed)

    Event Sponsorships - quarterly review
    Up to $2,000 per grant
    Applications due: June 15, September 15, December 15, March 15

    Within the Event Sponsorship category, the Forum supports events that bring people together for civil discussion inclusive of diverse perspectives, in person or virtually. Through these programs, participants hone skills of inquiry, analysis, reflection, evaluation, empathy, and conversation, enriching both their private lives and their communities.

    For more information on how to apply, please visit the Alaska Humanities Forum website at:


  • Wednesday, February 24, 2021 4:42 AM | Sarah Asper-Smith (Administrator)

    Small Museums Scholarship Application 2021 AASLH Online Conference, October 12-15 DEADLINE: August 1, 2021

    The American Association for State and Local History will again hold an online conference this fall, October 12-15, following the in-person conference in Little Rock, Arkansas, September 22-25. This year’s theme for the dual conferences, “Doing History, Doing Justice,” will take an active orientation – how do history organizations and practitioners DO justice? We will look at how we do our work and how people are impacted by our work, unpacking the notion of “justice” in all its dimensions.

    Every year, increasing numbers of conference sessions address issues specifically affecting small museums. These sessions can be as practical and wide-ranging as training, marketing, and strategic planning. Other sessions focus on creative ways to forge and re-energize relationships with the surrounding community.

    Now in its sixteenth year, AASLH’s Small Museums Committee is offering several scholarships to AASLH members who are full-time, part-time, paid, or volunteer employees of small museums. Each scholarship will cover one Full Access registration for the online conference. Acceptance of the scholarship is contingent upon recipients submitting a post to the AASLH blog about their online conference experience.

    Please note: Small Museums Scholarships are only being awarded for the online conference.

    To qualify, the applicant must work for a museum with a budget of $250,000 or less. They also must either be an individual AASLH member or work for an institutional member.

    The deadline for applications is August 1, 2021. The committee will email award winners by September 1. For questions, please contact Bruce Teeple, Small Museums Scholarship Subcommittee Chair, at mongopawn44@hotmail.com, or Alex Collins, AASLH Professional Development Manager, at collins@aaslh.org or 615-320-3203.

    To apply for this scholarship, please go to: https://aaslh.submittable.com/submit/188266/2021-small-museums-scholarship

    Thank you,

    Bruce Teeple

    SMC Scholarship Subcommittee Chair

    The future of these scholarships rests on the generosity of members across the museum community. Please consider donating to this scholarship fund: https://aaslh.site-ym.com/donations/donate.asp?id=14241

  • Monday, October 12, 2020 8:56 AM | Executive Director (Administrator)


    CONTACT: Monica Garcia-Itchoak, Board President
    Email: president@museumsalaska.org                                    


    Press Release: Museums Alaska Leadership Transition

    The  Board of Directors for Museums Alaska has accepted the resignation of Della Hall as Executive Director of the organization effective Friday, October 30, 2020.

    Ms. Hall served Museums Alaska as a  board member from 2015 to 2017 before accepting the position of Executive Director in 2017. As Executive Director, she transitioned to the first full-time employee for Museums Alaska in 2020.   Della has advanced the mission of Museums Alaska over the past three years through her dedicated and responsive leadership in areas such as advocacy, online programs, and financial stewardship.

    The Board of Directors plans to immediately begin the search for a new Executive Director of Museums Alaska and intends to have a new leader onboard by the end of the year.


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